Sustainability in action:
A Little Effort, a Lot of Food for Those in Need
To strengthen our communities, Norfolk Southern promotes and supports employee volunteerism. Many employees, like Amanda Carpenter, volunteer their time, treasure, and talents to build community connections.
Amanda Carpenter, clerk at the Harrisburg Division office, enjoys volunteering in her community. When she realized her administrative position connected her to many people on Norfolk Southern’s system in central Pennsylvania, she decided to use that access to a charitable advantage.
“I came up with the idea of doing a food drive because it was close to Thanksgiving,” she said. “I contacted the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and asked what I could do to help.”
After getting an enthusiastic go-ahead from the food bank, Carpenter organized efforts to place food collection bins at her division office and at the area terminals and other yard locations. “I had four large barrels and boxes in different locations in the crew buildings,” she explained.
Once word about the drive began circulating in the rail yards, the food started pouring in. “The barrels were overflowing and the boxes were full in three weeks,” she said. Under Carpenter’s organization, NS employees donated 806 pounds of food, enough to provide meals to 670 families.
Carpenter was elated by the success. “The food drive was something I thought everybody would want to contribute to,” she said. “All the supervisors were very much on board with it, and the food bank was very happy.”
Carpenter hopes to organize another drive this year. “I am fortunate to have the resources to reach out to so many departments,” she said. “We’ve done several other volunteer things since last Thanksgiving, and Norfolk Southern always does Toys for Tots. Now we’re working on a project for homeless veterans.”
Norfolk Southern offers the perfect environment for giving back to local communities, she said, because the company is committed to making a positive difference in areas where the railroad operates and because many employees share that philosophy of giving back. For her efforts, Carpenter earned an NS SPIRIT Award, which recognizes employees who exemplify the company’s core values.
“I’m very humbled to be recognized because all I did was initiate the food drive,” she said. “It was definitely a division effort.”